The mongol attacks on hungary and poland in 1241 had

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The Mongol attacks on Hungary and Poland in 1241 had alerted the Europeans to the power of the Mongols and so frightened them that, in 1245, the Pope in Rome called an Ecumenical Council to deliberate on a response to the Mongols. Two Franciscan missionaries were eventually dispatched to the East. The first, who left Europe in 1245, was John of Plano Carpini, and the second was William of Rubruck, who traveled through the Mongol domains during 1253-1255. Both sought to achieve a kind of rapprochement with the Mongols, attempting to deter them from further attacks and invasions on Europe, as well as seeking to convert them to Christianity. The Europeans had received information that the Mongols had a leader, named Prester John, who had converted to Christianity. They also assumed that many of the Mongols already were Christians. In fact, some Mongol women, including Chinggis Khan s own mother, had converted to a heretical form of Christianity known as Nestorian Christianity. The Nestorian sect had been banned from Europe from around the 5th Century C.E., but had first spread to West Asia and then reached all the way to East Asia. But the idea that the Mongols could be converted to Christianity was an illusion at best. Nonetheless, John of Plano Carpini and William of Rubruck were greeted cordially at the Mongol courts. Though they succeeded in neither their religious nor diplomatic missions, they were able to bring back the first accurate accounts of the Mongols. Mongols Support Trade, Facilitating East-West ContactsAlong with Western missionaries, traders from the West (particularly from Genoa) began to arrive in the Mongol domains, mostly in Persia and eventually farther east. The Mongols were quite receptive to this. This attitude, which facilitated contacts with West Asia and Europe, contributed to the beginning of what we could call a global history, or at least a Eurasian history. The Mongols always favored trade. Their nomadic way of life caused them to recognize the importance of trade from the very earliest times and, unlike the Chinese, they had a positive attitude toward merchants and commerce. The Confucian Chinese professed to be disdainful of trade and merchants, whom they perceived to be a parasitical group that did not produce anything and were involved only in the p. 3 of 29
Asian Topics in World History | Columbia University The Mongols in World History | This is a transcript of the text found at <." target=_blank>>. For working links to images, PDF documents, and readings cited throughout this text, please visit the website. exchange of goods. Mongols altered that attitude and in fact sought to facilitate international trade [also see The Mongols in China: Life for Merchants under Mongol Rule, below].

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